Over 160 Polk women have done just that this past year, seeking the services offered by Life Matters Outreach and Life Choices of Polk County Pregnancy Resource Center.
Last year, Life Matters Outreach, located at 114 West Ave. in Cedartown gained 70 new clients ranging in age from 13 to 45. Director Tara Stringer, along with several volunteers, saw to it that these 70 clients received the counseling they needed to make intelligent decisions about their unexpected pregnancy.
Life Matters is a non-profit organization sponsored by donations and monthly pledges from local churches, community organizations and individuals. They provide free pregnancy tests, abortion alternative counseling, adoption referrals, abstinence education and post-abortion counseling.
The organization also offers parenting classes for their clients and offers incentives for attending.
Clients who attend the classes receive “Mommy Cards,” that allow the mother to take advantage of the organization’s baby supply closet. Baby clothing, maternity clothing, diapers, baby wipes and other infant necessities are provided by local donations.
Volunteers at Life Matters are trained counselors and Stringer says that through their programs, women who were considering aborting their babies, have changed their minds and pursued other options.
Stringer feels that the community is behind the organization and its services. “The community has had a very positive reaction … the need is out there, there are women in need and hurting and that need help,” she said.
Though support from local residents is great, Stringer hopes that the organization can attract more volunteers. “The more volunteers,” said Stringer, “the longer the doors can stay open.”
Life Matters is currently looking for Christian volunteers ages 18 and up.
Stringer says that while the organization is financially stable, she would like to see the addition of new technology to the outreach service.
“The big trend now in pregnancy crisis centers is to provide on-site ultrasounds to the clients. It increases the likelihood that the client will seek other options than abortion.”
Life Matters is also available to make presentations at local churches and schools. They are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Appointments are not needed but encouraged.
On the other side of the county, Life Choices Pregnancy Resource Center, is educating women about sexually transmitted diseases and other health risks that are associated with promiscuity.
Like Life Matters, the resource center located at 317 East Elm St., Rockmart, offers free pregnancy tests, on-going counseling, access to baby clothes and supplies and post-abortion Bible studies.
Debbie Ross, director, states that sometimes the best service they can offer is to lend an ear.
“A lot of times these girls are just looking for someone to talk to and someone to listen,” explained Ross.
She also stated that out of 90 clients last year, only 18 pregnancy tests were positive.
Life Choices is a non-profit organization that survives only on outside donations from the community.
Ross said that a local church had recently given the organization a baby shower. “I was invited to speak at this church and each person who attended brought a baby gift. We got so much stuff,” said Ross.
Life Choices Pregnancy Resource Center is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and on Wednesday from 1 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.
They are also looking for volunteers to train and help with the center’s services.
For more information on the services that Life Choices offers, call 770-684-4207.
To learn more about Life Matters Outreach, call 770-749-8911 or log on to www.lifemattersoutreach.com.